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10 Journal Prompts To Explore Your Mind    

10 Journal Prompts To Explore Your Mind

Art by FISK

By Meadowlark Monaghan

One way to better our mental health is simply to have a better understanding of ourselves. It can be extremely self-empowering and confidence-building to enable ourselves to do our own work! Learning to recognize our patterns, heal from our past, and create how we want to engage with life moving forward is in our control. 

The first way to do this is to step back and observe. Become an explorer of your own mind! The key aspect of this process is no judgement. And that’s also where things can become a bit sticky. 

Sometimes, in observing our own behaviors, thought patterns, or emotions, we come across coping strategies that no longer serve us or patterns we fall into that we may not be so proud of. However, placing judgement on ourselves isn’t doing anyone any favors. The key is to view ourselves as an anthropologist, meaning: simply observation and acknowledgment (no judgement). 

It’s similar to how I like to view meditation: it’s not about “not thinking.” It’s about watching those thoughts and emotions pass and not become wrapped up in them. It’s the difference between being outdoors in the middle of a thunderstorm versus sitting inside with a cup of tea while watching it through a window. You are still fully aware of the storm, but you’re watching it from a step back. That step back is what makes all the difference. That is what allows you to acknowledge the passing thoughts and emotions without attaching yourself to them and getting swept up in them. 

From that non-judgmental awareness is where we can truly begin to accept ourselves for who we are while also making changes necessary to be our best selves. 

In honor of exploring our minds as anthropologists, here are ten journal prompts to help get you started on your own self-work journey: 

  1. Make a list of what drains your energy and what fills it up. What do you need more of in your life? What do you need less of? 
  2. What are the top 3 things you are feeling this moment and what are the thoughts behind those feelings? What is the root of your most recurrent feeling? 
  3. Write a letter to your inner child. What does your inner child need to hear? How can you honor your inner child this week?
  4. Identify roles that you play in your life (this could look like: athlete, daughter, partner, psychology major, always late, etc.) List the roles you truly identify with. Then, list the roles that you wish to release. Were these placed on you? Did you accept them? How can you forge your own roles? 
  5. How often do you give others advice, and why do you give it? Look for patterns. Do you listen to others' advice? Do you listen to your own? 
  6. Explore your values! Identify 5 values you want to strengthen. How can you honor more of these values this week? How can you incorporate them into your day-to-day life?
  7. What beliefs or thoughts are holding you back from believing you are successful or worthy of success? How would replacing unhelpful beliefs with more healthy ones benefit you?
  8. What makes you unique? How do you honor that? How do you show yourself love? 
  9. Currently, what are three of your goals (big or small)? What can you do this week to help you get there? 
  10. What is one thing you’ve learned about yourself over the last year? 

“Growth feels uncomfortable but you must not stay in one spot just to preserve a piece of you that is ready to become something more. You are not losing a piece of who you are, you are becoming more of yourself. I know it is scary but this is one of the greatest beauties you will ever experience. To see yourself fully blooming into the person you are meant to be.” - m.s.

Keep the conversation going by commenting on this story below. You can also connect with us about whatever’s on your mind by texting The Local Optimist Hotline at 310.299.9414.